Fisherboy (10 of 11)
Fisherboy: Imaginarily Directed By Ishmael Bernal
A Story by Jonathan Aquino (10 of 11)
The next day, the fishermen already on the shore applauded as Berto's boat landed. They all rushed to pull the heavy net. It was bursting with fish.
"Oh, Mang Berto!" gushed Sendong giddily. "It feels like hitting the Sweepstakes!"
Orlando had been grimly silent.
Berto strolled towards Temyong who'd just reached shore. "Well, kapitan?" he asked, not without a hint of gloating as he eyed the puny catch on the boat.
"Yeah, I know it looks pathetic compared to yours," Temyong told him, as he and Jay rested from dragging the boat. He looked at the boy at the other side. "But it's enough for us," he said.
Temyong smiled back and turned to Berto.
"And I sleep better at night!"
The water was calm and unbelievably blue.
"It's your fourth day as a fisherman, Jay," smiled Temyong. "What can you say so far?"
"It's good," said the boy, "but hard. But I'm getting used to it, Tatay Temyong!" He paused, not knowing how to say it. "Uh, Tatay Temyong? Can I ask you something?"
There was an explosion.
On the far distance, the water was churning beside a boat with three laughing men.
"Our friends are celebrating the New Year," Temyong said wryly. "Go on, Jay, what is it?"
"Well," the boy said hesitantly, "I notice that you can really catch a lot more if..." He trailed off, embarrassed.
"You know, Jay," explained the fisherman, "when you use dynamite, you also blow away their hatchings. Pretty soon, there be anything left to catch."
"Oh," was all Jay could say.
Then screams of alarm.
Jay looked behind. Blood drained from face as he saw the burning wreckage of what used to be a boat.
"Hurry, Jay!" shouted Temyong, paddling furiously towards the floating pyre. "Faster!"
"Kapitan!" screamed Sendong who was nearest them. "That was Mang Berto's boat!"
Temyong was stunned, momentarily paralyzed.
"Mother of God," he whispered.
"Tatay Temyong!" said Jay, crying shamelessly, "Kuya Orlando is in that boat!"
To Be Continued Next Saturday Night On The 2Rivers Saturday Evening Posts
(Photos courtesy ofecop.pbworks.com)
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